I am pleased to greet the fifth IUCN World Conservation Congress. I thank the Government of the Republic of Korea and Jeju Province for hosting.
Jeju island embodies the intricate beauty and harmony of nature for which IUCN is such a successful advocate.
The United Nations places great value on its partnership with IUCN. Thanks to its observer status in the UN General Assembly, your organization is a dynamic participant in our discussions.
And indeed, we need your voice and your engagement.
Our planet faces formidable environmental challenges.
It is increasingly clear to an ever-greater number of people – from pastoralists to policy makers – that our well-being and sustainable development depend on taking nature into account in all our decision-making.
This understanding was reinforced at the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development earlier this year.
Our challenge now is to turn the Rio commitments into a lasting legacy. For that we will need the combination of science and passion that IUCN has provided for so many years.
The theme of your Congress -- “the Resilience of Nature” -- tells us that there is still time to change course.
The world counts on you to help us build the future we want.
I look forward to working with you in that crucial endeavour, and I wish you a successful meeting.